[W]ith the Father’s words from above concerning Him who was baptized according to the flesh, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17), He made it plain that all those other things spoken earlier through the prophets, the giving of laws, the promises, the granting of sonship, were imperfect, and were neither pronounced nor accomplished in accordance with what God willed beforehand. Rather, they looked towards this present fulfillment, and through what has now been accomplished they too have been brought to perfection. But why refer only to laws, promises, and adoption of sons by the prophets? Even the original foundation of the world looked towards this, towards Him who is baptized below as the Son of man, but testified to from above as God’s only beloved Son, for whom and through whom are all things, as the apostle says (cf. Rom. 11:36).
Consequently, man was also brought into being in the beginning because of Him, being formed according to God’s image so that one day he might contain his archetype. And the law given by God in paradise was on His account, because God would not have imposed it if it were always to remain unfulfilled. Almost everything said and accomplished subsequently by God was for Him, and you might be right to say that everything in heaven, the orders of angelic beings and the ordinances laid down there, were directed from the start towards this aim, namely, the dispensation whereby God became man, to which they ministered from beginning to end. For God’s good pleasure means His good and perfect will preceding the event, and Christ is the only one in whom the Father is well pleased, upon whom He rests and with whom He is perfectly satisfied, “His Wonderful Counselor, the Angel of His Great Counsel” (cf. Isa. 9:6 LXX), who hears and speaks from His Father, and grants, to those who obey Him, eternal life.
May we all attain to that life, in Christ the King of the ages, to whom belong all glory, honor and worship together with the Father without beginning and the all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit now and for ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
“Give me a word!”
The crown of all good works consists in this: that a man place all his hope in God, that he find recourse in Him once and for all with his heart and strength, that he be filled with compassion for all, and that he weep before God, imploring His help and mercy.
-Venerable Isaiah the Recluse
Love little things, and strive for that which is modest and simple.
-Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
Intending to offer up your prayer to God, cast aside all earthly thoughts and cares. Do not engage in the thoughts which come to you at that time, however important or brilliant or necessary they might seem. Render to God the things that are God’s and you will have time to render what is necessary for temporal life in its own time.
-St Igantius Brianchaninov